Trying to recall the title of a short story


I have exhausted every possible search topic I can think of and I’m still stumped, so I hope there is someone, somewhere out there who knows what I’m talking about!

Years ago (and I mean about 35-40 years ago) I read a short story in a school textbook about a couple of young teenagers, a boy and a girl, who were close friends. They weren’t rich, but the boy fell in love with a girl at school, the typical beautiful girl from a better (if not well) off family, who only dated the “lettermen” at school. He was an athlete but due to circumstances, could not afford a letterman sweater. He finally managed to borrow the money for the sweater, which he allowed the girl to wear (you have to realize this story was probably set in the '40s or '50s when such a thing was a big deal) and all seemed well, until he had to start working after school jobs to pay back the money for the sweater. Result: he had less time to spend with the girl because he had to work, keep his grades up, and, of course, practice and play ball in order to retain the privilege of being a “letterman” and she eventually broke up with him because he wasn’t “fun” anymore.

In the meantime, his friend, the girl he’d grown up with, also started dating another boy on the team and she wore HIS letterman sweater. Her friend noticed that she wore the sweater with pride, cared for it and kept it clean, and was a big supporter of her new boyfriend… everything his dream girl hadn’t done. He realizes that he should have seen his friend as a girl worth having as a girlfriend and after the breakup, he asks his friend if she would wear his sweater. She says she can’t right now and he understands that she won’t just dump her current boyfriend like his former girlfriend did him. And pretty much that’s how the story ends.

Any ideas at all as to the title or the author? I don’t know where else to look for answers!


I don’t recognize it, but I do know that whenever I’m stumped for the title of something, I go to GoodReads and post in the What’s The Name of That Book? forum. Sometimes other people don’t know, either— but sometimes, they come through, and it’s awesome!


I tried a while back and no one responded. May have to try again. The fact that it’s a short story and not a novel-length work may be the reason.



Ask a librarian.

There are a couple of sources that index short stories and they may have access to one or more.


Are you sure this wasn’t an episode of Dobie Gilles? This sounds like the plot of many a story that gets told over and over.


Everyone thinks I made this up. The librarians I spoke to said they had no idea, could I recall the title of the textbook in which it was? Nope, if I could, I would have found the story myself.

I wouldn’t know about a Dobie Gillis episode, never watched that.


Some of these suggestions might work for short stories too.


You might have a good opportunity if you remember what the textbook looked like/was called, and then see if you can find one for sale.


I agree with midori that searching by book cover may be your best bet. Try Praying to St Anthony to help you find a ‘lost’ memory couldn’t hurt, either.


As I said before, I had librarians ask me that question. We’re talking junior high, almost forty years ago in a Catholic school that didn’t have the latest textbooks on hand. I can’t recall the title of the textbook at all. And none of my classmates recall the story very well.


Wow! That’s going back a few years.


You should be able to contact the School District where you attended Middle School. They will have a record of what textbooks were in use during your school years.


hope it helps


That’s what I was going to suggest.


Could you contact your former district and maybe they have a list of text books used?


It was a Catholic school. The junior high I attended closed several years ago. They were in the process of getting newer books when I graduated (in 1981.) I’m looking up old text books, but I can’t recall the covers, much less the titles of the textbooks… you know the first thing the teachers did was have you cover your textbooks with brown paper bags, so it wasn’t like I looked at the cover every day! :wink:


Sounds a little like Archie and Veronica


Right? And Betty is there all along!


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